Reigning A-Sun champions out to defend conference title
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (September 28, 2011) – Two days after earning its first NSCAA ranking in program history, the No. 24/22 ETSU men’s soccer team heads for Nashville, Tenn. for its first conference meeting of the season, when they take on Belmont inside E.S. Rose Park at 7 p.m. (6 p.m. CT).
The Buccaneers (6-1-1) went 7-2-0 during conference play last year before defeating Lipscomb and Stetson by the same score, 1-0, in the conference tournament to hoist the program’s first ever A-Sun championship. Both victories came with plenty of dramatics, as the Bucs defeated Stetson off a goal by Theo Yang (Lilburn, Ga.) with seven seconds remaining in the second overtime, and then took out Stetson in the final when Itode Fubara (Ogbema, Nigeria) scored five minutes into the first overtime.
The reigning conference tournament champions are now being recognized on the national stage, as the Bucs are currently ranked No. 24 by the NSCAA and No. 22 by Soccer America – the two major college soccer polls.
David Geno (Kingsport, Tenn.) leads the Bucs into conference play as the team’s leading goal scorer with four goals. The sophomore has stepped up for his team in clutch situations, scoring the game-winner against both Virginia Tech and Davidson with less than 15 minutes to play in each contest.
Posing more threats on the attack have been senior captain Aaron Schoenfeld (Knoxville, Tenn.) and junior Frank Doumbe (Silver Spring, Md.). Schoenfeld has scored three goals and created three assists to total nine points, which leads the team along with Geno. The newcomer, Doumbe, has scored one goal in his first year with ETSU, but finds more success in creating chances having registered a team-leading four assists.
Defensively, redshirt sophomore Ryan Coutler (Dublin, Ireland) has been one of the toughest goalkeepers in the conference and the country to score on. A two-time conference defensive player of the week, Coulter leads the A-Sun in shutouts (6), shutouts per game (0.75), save percentage (.857) and goals against average (0.71). His save percentage and GAA also ranks near the top nationally at 16th and 31st respectively.
Belmont (4-5-0) sits right in the middle of the pack at fifth place in the A-Sun standings. The Bruins head into Thursday’s game looking to get back on track after losing their last two games to SIU Edwardsville, 2-0, and Evansville, 4-1.
Leading the attack for Belmont is Brandon Tarr. The junior from Shelbyville, Ky. has scored five goals for the Bruins this season, with his most-recent goal scoring performance coming in a, 4-0, victory over IPFW. Tarr scored twice in the contest as sophomore Nico Olsak registered three assists.
The all-time series between the Bucs and the Bruins dates back to October 11, 2008, in a match that was won by Belmont, 4-0. ETSU has won the two matches since to lead the series with a record of 2-1-0.
Live stats for Thursday night's game will be provided courtesy of BelmontBruins.com.
For more information on ETSU men’s soccer please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s soccer links.